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The History of Ketchup and Mustard

The History of Ketchup and Mustard

Ketchup and mustard go hand-in-hand, but they both have very different origins, separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles. Mental Floss provides a brief history of the popular condiments. While early mustards were similar to today’s, the first ketchups had more in common with fish sauce.

The Story of Silver Apples

The Story of Silver Apples

If you think that electronic music was born in the 1970s or 1980s, you’d be wrong. Bandsplaining introduces us to Silver Apples, a group who was way ahead of their time, creating innovative glitch-pop sounds back in 1967. They even worked with Jimi Hendrix, but faded into obscurity after a controversial album cover did them in.

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Why Plastic Exists

Why Plastic Exists

In the early 1900s, electricity was about to take the world by storm. But live wires couldn’t safely be used without insulation. Resin harvested from insects worked, but was too expensive to harvest. Necessity being the mother of invention, it drove chemist Leo Baekeland to develop what would become the world’s first plastic.

Weird Old Predictions

Weird Old Predictions

While many considered Nikolai Tesla to be a genius, he also had some pretty outlandish ideas, like the notion that we would stop drinking coffee by the 21st century. Mental Floss editor Erin McCarthy explores this and a number of other wacky predictions that have yet to come true, among them, undersea buses propelled by whales.

The Rise and Fall of Emo

The Rise and Fall of Emo

(PG-13: Language) “The irritating screech of a dial-up connection was replaced by the equally grating sound of teenagers expressing themselves.” Ordinary Things turns into Ordinary People, as our host walks us through a history of the Emo movement, as it evolved out of punk into something more suburban, then imploded.

The Original Game of LIFE

The Original Game of LIFE

If you’ve ever played the The Game of LIFE board game, you know it’s a pretty innocuous way to pass the time. But as Vox points out, the original version that came out in the 1860s included much darker milestones than just buying a house or sending your kids to college.

A Brief History of Alcohol

A Brief History of Alcohol

After a long day at work, it’s nice to take the edge off with a little booze. But where did humans get the idea to ferment spirits and drink them in the first place? TED-Ed presenter Rod Phillips looks back on the 7,000+ year history of alcohol, which like many things, appears to have its origins with ancient Chinese civilizations.

Timothy Dexter: Rags-to-Riches

Timothy Dexter: Rags-to-Riches

Yep, vacation is over. So it’s time to get back to your desk and maybe do some work or learn something. Let’s start off with another oddball history lesson from Sam O’Nella Academy, and one Timothy Dexter, an 18th century farmhand who married his way into aristocracy, and then became even more wealthy despite his stupidity.

The Earth in One Day

The Earth in One Day

Imagine if you will, that the entire 4.5 billion history of the Earth was collapsed down to a 24-hour single day. Bright Side’s educational video does just that, taking significant events in the development of our world and giving us a relative sense of how closely together they played out.

The DeLorean Paradox

The DeLorean Paradox

Introduced in 1981, the DeLorean DMC-12 was supposed to be the “car of the future,” yet despite its striking looks, it wasn’t that groundbreaking. The company that built it quickly crashed, but Back to the Future made it an icon and dream car for decades to come.

What Happened to the Rotodyne?

What Happened to the Rotodyne?

Back in the 1950s, a new method of transportation was in development. The Fairey Rotodyne looked like the offspring of a helicopter and an airplane, and could take off and land vertically. But fast as it appeared, the Rotodyne vanished. Mustard takes a look at this unique aircraft, and why it never got off the ground.

The Secret US City

The Secret US City

During WWII, Oak Ridge, Tennessee served as a facility for nuclear weapons development, housing nearly 75,000 people, all while managing to keep the entire existence of the town top secret. Half as Interesting explores the fascinating history of this small southern town.

The Machine that Made Everything

The Machine that Made Everything

The industrial revolution kicked off the biggest boom of innovation in the history of humanity. Machine Thinking looks back at one specific machine which came at the very start of that era that he considers as the linchpin for much of what came after.

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The First Video Game

The First Video Game

Ahoy presents an incredibly in-depth analysis of the origins of video games, swiftly debunking any confusion that Pong was the first video game ever, and looking back at early titles like Computer Space, SpaceWar!, Tennis for Two, and their programmers. Turns out hunting down the very first video game isn’t that simple.

A Brief History of Chess

A Brief History of Chess

Accompanied by an animation from Remus & Kiki, narrator Adrian Dannatt adds his authoritative voice to Alex Gendler’s TED-Ed lesson about the origins of the popular board game, which dates back to the 7th century in India – or possibly earlier – and is still recognized as one of the most challenging strategy games you can play.

The Guy Who Hacked the Lottery

The Guy Who Hacked the Lottery

You have a better chance of being struck by lightning multiple times than winning a big lottery these days. But a couple of decades back, Stefan Mandel figured out that depending on the size of a lottery’s jackpot, if you bought every single combination, you’d be guaranteed a win. He just had to figure out how to buy them all.

Why Pirates Talk Like That

Why Pirates Talk Like That

Yarrrrrr! Avast, ye mateys! Shiver me timbers! That’s how we generally think that pirates spoke. But it turns out that it’s a complete fabrication. Cheddar explains where that familiar pirate speak came from, and theorizes on what they might have actually sounded like.

The Best/Worst Torture

The Best/Worst Torture

(PG-13: Gross, Language) CollegeHumor’s Dropout TV series What the F 101 looks at one of the stranger types of torture. “The Boats” started out rather pleasantly with a delicious serving of milk and honey, but it quickly takes a turn for the worse.

Animals in Space

Animals in Space

(PG-13: Language) There’s a long, and often disturbing history of launching animals into the cosmos before space programs felt comfortable sending humans. Sam O’Nella Academy looks back at the creatures who often gave their lives so that space exploration could march forward.

Ordinary Things: Treadmills

Ordinary Things: Treadmills

“In 1818, civil engineer William Cubbitt designed the first treadmill as a device to punish inmates…” Learn this and everything else you never wanted to know about treadmills, as explained by an ordinary guy in the compelling new web series Ordinary Things. Then learn about pillows, stairs, and onions too.

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Improbable Tales of Survival

Improbable Tales of Survival

(PG-13: Language) From a man who was shot through the head, to another who jammed a drill bit in there, to a guy who crash-landed his plane and fought off a pack of wild animals, Sam O’Nella Academy is here to regale us with another round of strange but true stories.

Dead Body Hijinks 2

Dead Body Hijinks 2

(PG-13: Language) After sharing the tale of a corpse used for entertainment, Sam O’Nella returns with a grislier tale of a dead body used for… personal entertainment. But not before pointing out how understandably few people know about the value of a Pope’s blood.

How Punk Became Punk

How Punk Became Punk

(PG-13: Language) Punk rock shook up the music scene back in 1976, but “proto-punk” bands dating all the way back to the late 1950s defined the genre without even knowing it. Trash Theory looks back at the history of punk rock, and the roots of its anti-establishment sounds.

Dead Body Hijinks

Dead Body Hijinks

(PG-13: Language) Sam O’Nella Academy shares the story of Elmer McCurdy. He was a bandit in the early 20th century who got killed in a shootout with the police. But he stayed above ground for an astounding 65 years, thanks to crooks and clueless entertainers.

Why Japan’s Games Get Extra Fingers

Why Japan’s Games Get Extra Fingers

While many video game characters have four fingers, the practice is frowned upon in Japan, resulting in special variants of everyone from Bart Simpson to Crash Bandicoot. Censored Gaming looks at the history behind the strange 4-fingered discrimination in the country.

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